The Muhammad Ali Museum Stings Like a Bee, Sues Park West Gallery

07/02/2012 1:31 PM |

Muhammed Ali and his wife, Lonnie Ali, attend the 2005 opening for the Muhammad Ali Museum and Education Center.
  • Photo: Garry Jones / AP
  • Muhammad Ali and his wife, Lonnie Ali, attend the 2005 opening for the Muhammad Ali Museum and Education Center.

On Thursday, Courthouse News Service reported that the Muhammad Ali Museum filed suit against Park West Gallery. In the first round of legal sparring, the museum alleges that in 2009, several of the artworks donated by Park West to the museum contain fake signatures. This occurred in 2009, and soon after the museum wanted to return these works to Park West. But the gallery, which makes a killing selling art on cruise ships, refused to the return of its tax-deductible donation.

This isn’t the first time that Park West has been the subject of lawsuits and complaints. In 2008, The New York Times rolled out a list of woes against this gallery ranging from forgeries, chandelier bidding, and selling poster art. All of these complaints were brought by individuals, many who felt taken advantage of while stuck out at sea. The Muhammad Ali Museum suit marks the first time a museum has become embroiled with the gallery. And it might take the team of a professional fighters to K.O. this cruise ship gallery’s sketchy practices.

In a statement published a day before the Courthouse News Service report, Park West Gallery stated that only the authentic works will be displayed at the museum. Although the gallery states that the dispute has been resolved amicably, it makes no mention of the museum’s desire to return the inauthentic works. The Muhammad Ali Museum has not yet responded.